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Three experts, who are members of an independent committee, review user-based projects on quality and feasibility of execution. If approved, a proposal receives the qualification ‘EUPLANTCROPP-certified’. It is ready to be executed by members of EUPLANTCROPP.
The committee consists of the following members:

Dr David Cary, United Kingdom
Since 2010 David has been in place as the Inaugural Executive Director of the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association (IBMA). IBMA is a global trade association with a strong European focus. His career path has been focused on IPM, resistance management, implementation of biocontrol techniques, and systems based control of pests and diseases. David is passionate about reducing the reliance on traditional pesticides through finding, developing, registering and bringing to market new solutions to feed a growing world population whilst respecting biodiversity, the environment and protecting human health. David is an entomologist by training and spent several years co-ordinating, conducting, assessing, reporting efficacy trials and supervising regulatory compliance for biological agricultural inputs. He actively participates in promoting the biocontrol industry and ensuring that any regulation is proportionate to risk. He promotes a globally harmonised regional regulatory and product development focus and is confident that we will see more global co-ordination in the near future. He was a key player in the formation of BPG (BioProtection Global) and works closely with international bodies including OECD, FAO and EPPO.

Prof Dr Francois Mesnard, France
Studied chemistry at the University of Picardie Jules Verne where he obtained a PhD in 1999 about NMR analysis on Solanaceae metabolism. He had a postdoc position at the University of Oxford, in the Department of Plant Sciences, in the in vivo NMR group with George Ratcliffe. He obtained a professor position in 2009 at the University of Picardie Jules Verne, where he is the leader of the group “metabolism of phenylpropanoids” in the research unit BIOPI. He is specialized in plant NMR metabolism studies. He is currently working on metabolism and characterization of phenolic compounds accumulated in flaxseed. He has recently developed an analytical methodology in metabolomics and elaborated a plant metabolite database more specifically dedicated to flax, in collaboration with Bernd Schneider. FM is the head of the « Plant Biology and Innovation » research unit (BIOPI) which gathers more than 50 researchers. This unit aims at understanding the roles of the changes in cell wall and metabolism during plant development. Specific developmental models (seed, hypocotyls, roots) as well as stress/non stress growth conditions are used on either a model plant (Arabidopsis) or a plant of agro-economic interest (flax). The unit has a strong expertise in cell wall biochemistry, phenolic metabolism, studying in particular (neo-)lignan biosynthesis in flax, molecular cloning, gene and protein expression and plant transformation. The unit has full access to all the equipment from the University platforms (Analytical, Molecular Biology, Greenhouses), with state-of-the-art facilities. Several Mass and NMR spectrometers are available, notably a 600 MHz equipped with an autosampler, compatible with high-throughput metabolomics.

Dr Nutan Kaushik, India
Is Director-General at the Amity University Noida since 2017 after being 24 years Senior Fellow and Area Convenor at The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI). She has a PhD in Agricultural Chemicals from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi (1991). She worked on metabolomics at the University of California with Prof Oliver Fiehn. Nutan received professional training on IPM from Michigan State University and was awarded a Chochran Fellowship from USDA in 2003. She got also training on IPM and food safety at Wageningen University and Research by way of a Royal Fellowship of the Government of Netherlands awarded in 2005. The important areas of work are, analytical chemistry, metabolomics, natural product chemistry, development and commercialisation of botanical pesticides, study of pesticides residue in plants and soils, metabolism of pesticides in plants, development of pest management modules and implementation of these at farms. She developed and implemented pest management modules for rice, sugarcane and vegetables. Nutan prepared a detailed report on problems related to agriculture sector in India and prepared a plan of action for sustaining the agricultural growth in the DISHA project. Her contribution in the field of bio-prospecting has led to development of the Bollcure biopesticide The technology has been transferred to two companies. She contributed to the identification and development of nutritionally superior lines of Brassica juncea and Brassica napus.

EUplantcropp certification stamp

Prof Dr Ursula Kües, Germany
Professor of Molecular Wood Biotechnology at the Georg-August University Göttingen since 2001. She received her PhD in Microbiology at the Technical University of Berlin in 1988. She subsequently had post-docs at, Free University of Berlin, University of London, and University of Oxford. She was Research Follow at the University of Oxford. She was assistant-professor at the Institute of Microbiology of the ETH Zürich between 1994 and 2001 leading an own research group. She received her habilitation at the ETH in 2000 qualifying her as professor. She focuses on the research topics, gene functions in fruiting body development of the fungus Coprinopsis cinerea, evolution of mating type genes in basidiomycetes, extracellular matrix proteins, cell-wall bound proteins and redox-oxidases of white-rot fungi, and wood bio-technology.

Prof Dr Murray Isman, Canada
Former Professor of Entomology and Toxicology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, from 1983-2018, and former Dean of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems (2005-2014). He performed extensive research for over 35 years in the areas of insect toxicology and behavior, with particular emphasis on the discovery and development of botanical insecticides. He has authored over 200 refereed publications (cited >17,000 times), including 28 book chapters, and co-edited two books. In 2011 he received the Gold Medal for outstanding achievement from the Entomological Society of Canada and was elected a Fellow of both the Entomological Society of America and the Royal Entomological Society (London) in 2014. He is currently a subject editor for the Journal of Pest Science, the Journal of Economic Entomology, and the Bulletin of Entomological Research. He also serves as a consultant to the bio-pesticide industry. Over 50 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists received training in his laboratory. Murray holds BSc (1975) and MSc (1977) degrees in Zoology from UBC, a doctorate (1981) in Entomology from the University of California at Davis, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Irvine (1981-1983) prior to his initial appointment at UBC. He has also held honorary appointments as a visiting professor or scientist at academic institutions in Germany, Brazil, China and Korea.

Dr Isabel van Zeller Basto, Portugal
An agronomist since 2004, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro in Portugal, she is currently the representative of the Portuguese cooperative farmers’ confederation CONFAGRI in Brussels. She received her PhD at the University ‘Cattolica del Sacro Cuore’ (Milan, IT) on Sistema Agro-Alimentare with label Doctor Europaeus in 2010. Her thesis was entitled ‘Role of stilbenes as a resistance factor of the grapevine towards biotic stress’. She was involved in COST-Action 858 ‘Viticulture: Biotic and abiotic stress – Grapevine Defence Mechanism and Grape Development’. Her work focused on physiological, microscopic and genetic grapevine defence behaviour after Plasmopara viticola infection. It was preceded by the work conducted when awarded the Leonardo da Vinci scholarship, thesis title: “New varieties for still and sparkling wine” when she developed further her viticultural and ampelographic skills as well as sensory tasting with higher focus on wine characterization.

Abstracts of certified proposals

EUPC 2018/8 Plant compounds to control EIP-AGRI Focus Group indicated fungal soil-borne diseases in vegetables: a basic study to initiate further R&D.

The objectives of this pre-competitive, user-based, R&D-project will be achieved by way of a basic study. It will generate an evidence-based short list of 10 plant compounds that are eligible for use in sustainable crop protection. The study focuses on control of fungal soil-borne diseases in seven target vegetables.

The feasibility study will be executed in four consecutive steps:

  1. a systematic literature review of efficacy and safety of plant compounds to arrive at a short list of 10 compounds;
  2. a systematic literature review of metabolite profiling of the seven target vegetables to determine the abundance of the plant compounds on the short list;
  3. a validation of the short list in a greenhouse experiment using a randomised, factorial design followed by targeted metabolomics analysis;
  4. elaboration of the short list in directions for development of sustainable control including, resistance breeding, priming for resistance, tolerance/bio-stimulation, biological control and inherent environmental safe bio-pesticides.

An international EUPLANTCROPP consortium led by WUR-Bleiswijk will be responsible for a timely and high-quality execution of the project. The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and EUPLANTCROPP-Leiden are the other two partners of the consortium.

Data management and stewardship will be based on the FAIR-principles. The user has the right of first use of the data of the project up to one year after closure of it. The period of first use may be shorter upon agreement between user and consortium.